Identity & Culture Fiction Ebooks

Open up your world with moving fictional stories that explore varied experiences and cultures. Identity and culture fiction ebooks help illuminate different cultures, identities, and experiences that may contrast or echo our own. Check out these new releases and bestsellers on identity and culture fiction.

Open up your world with moving fictional stories that explore varied experiences and cultures. Identity and culture fiction ebooks help illuminate different cultures, identities, and experiences that may contrast or echo our own. Check out these new releases and bestsellers on identity and culture fiction.

Bestselling in Identity & Culture Fiction

New & Noteworthy: Identity & Culture Fiction

  • Blue-Skinned Gods: ‘Rich, beautifully told and moving’ Guardian
    Blue-Skinned Gods: ‘Rich, beautifully told and moving’ Guardian
    Blue-Skinned Gods: ‘Rich, beautifully told and moving’ Guardian

    Ebook

    Blue-Skinned Gods: ‘Rich, beautifully told and moving’ Guardian

    bySJ Sindu

    In Tamil Nadu, India, a boy named Kalki is born with blue skin. He believes that he is the Hindu god Vishnu and that he can perform miracles. The truth, however, is much darker... As Kalki struggles to extract himself from under the thumb of his controlling father, he must also reconcile with the idea that everything he’s ever been told might not be true. When his father drags him on a tour to America, Kalki seizes his chance to explore what life as an ordinary man might be like. Pulled between India and America, and his father’s web of control, Kalki must find his true place in the world. ‘Rich, beautifully told and moving’ Guardian ‘It is impossible not to be hypnotized... Sindu masterfully renders how our environments bake into our skin’ The New York Times ‘The richness of this story will take hold of you and never let go’ Roxane Gay ‘Marvelous’ Devin Murphy ‘A memorable and vivid coming-of-age story’ Elise Hooper ‘Stunning’ Kristen Arnett ‘An instant classic’ Nick White ‘Exquisite’ Patrick Cottrell ‘Profound’ Tessa Fontaine ‘One of the most original and beautiful novels I’ve read in a long time’ Brandon Hobson

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
    When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky
    When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

    Ebook

    When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky

    byMargaret Verble

    Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.    Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two’s closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville. When disaster strikes during one of Two’s shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale’s zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Hard Like Water
    Hard Like Water
    Hard Like Water

    Ebook

    Hard Like Water

    byYan Lianke

    From a visionary, world-class writer, dubbed “China’s most controversial novelist” by the New Yorker, a gripping and biting story of ambition and betrayal, following two young communist revolutionaries whose forbidden love sets them apart from their traditionally minded village, as the Cultural Revolution sweeps the nation  Gao Aijun is a son of the soil of Henan’s Balou Mountains, and after a service in the Army, he is on his way back to his ancestral village, feeling like a hero. Close to his arrival, he sees a strikingly attractive woman walking barefoot alongside a railway track in the warm afternoon sun, and he is instantly smitten. She is Xia Hongmei and lives up to her name of “beautiful flower.” Hiding their relationship from their spouses, the pair hurl themselves into the struggle to bring revolution to their backwater village. They spend their days and nights writing pamphlets, organizing work brigades, and attending rallies, feeling they are the vanguard for the full-blown revolution that is waiting in the wings. Emboldened by encouragement from the Party, the couple dig a literal “tunnel of love” between their homes, where underneath the village their revolutionary and sexual fervor reaches a boiling point. While the unsuspecting villagers sleep, they sing revolutionary songs and compete in shouting-matches of Maoist slogans before making earth-moving love. But when their torrid relationship is finally discovered, and they have to answer to Hongmei’s husband, their dreams of a bright future together begin to fray. Will their great revolutionary energy save their skins, or will they too fall victim to the revolution that is swallowing up the country?  A novel of rare emotional force and surprising humor, Hard Like Water is an operatic and brilliantly plotted human drama about power’s corrupting nature and the brute force of love and desire.

    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars
    0 ratings
  • The Other Black Girl: A Novel
    The Other Black Girl: A Novel
    The Other Black Girl: A Novel

    Ebook

    The Other Black Girl: A Novel

    byZakiya Dalila Harris

    INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Good Morning America and Read with Marie Claire Book Club Pick and a People Best Book of Summer Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Parade, Goodreads, Fortune, and BBC ​​Named a Best Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Esquire, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, Harper’s Bazaar, and NPR ​​​​Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing. Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust. Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career. A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Winter Counts: A Novel
    Winter Counts: A Novel
    Winter Counts: A Novel

    Ebook

    Winter Counts: A Novel

    byDavid Heska Wanbli Weiden

    ANTHONY AWARD WINNER FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL THRILLER AWARD WINNER FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL EDGAR AWARD NOMINEE FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL “Winter Counts is a marvel. It’s a thriller with a beating heart and jagged teeth.”  —Tommy Orange, author of There There A Best Book of 2020: NPR * Publishers Weekly * Library Journal * CrimeReads * Goodreads * Sun Sentinel * SheReads * MysteryPeople   A groundbreaking thriller about a vigilante on a Native American reservation who embarks on a dangerous mission to track down the source of a heroin influx.  Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that’s hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost. Winter Counts is a tour-de-force of crime fiction, a bracingly honest look at a long-ignored part of American life, and a twisting, turning story that’s as deeply rendered as it is thrilling. Winner, Spur Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and Best First Novel * Winner, Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery Novel * Shortlisted, Best First Novel, Bouchercon Anthony Awards * Shortlisted, Best First Novel, International Thriller Writers * Shortlisted, Dashiell Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing, International Association of Crime Writers * Longlisted, VCU Cabell First Novel Award * Shortlisted, Barry Award for Best First Novel * Shortlisted, Reading the West Award * Shortlisted, Colorado Book Award (Thriller)

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
    The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
    The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

    Ebook

    The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

    byDawnie Walton

    An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour. A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2021 BY BARACK OBAMA * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * ESQUIRE * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * GOODREADS * THE MILLIONS * READER’S DIGEST * PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER * EERIE READER * PUBLIC RADIO TULSA * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * KIRKUS REVIEWS “Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” —THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth. Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything. Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

    Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
  • Red Island House: A Novel
    Red Island House: A Novel
    Red Island House: A Novel

    Ebook

    Red Island House: A Novel

    byAndrea Lee

    From National Book Award–nominated writer Andrea Lee comes Red Island House, a travel epic that opens a window on the mysterious African island of Madagascar, and on the dangers of life and love in paradise, as seen through the eyes of a Black American heroine. “People do mysterious things when they think they have found paradise,” reflects Shay, the heroine of Red Island House. When Shay, an intrepid Black American professor, marries Senna, a brash Italian businessman, she doesn’t imagine that her life’s greatest adventure will carry her far beyond their home in Milan: to an idyllic stretch of beach in Madagascar where Senna builds a flamboyant vacation villa. Before she knows it, she becomes the reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, caught between her privileged American upbringing and her connection to the continent of her ancestors. So begins Shay’s journey into the heart of a remote African country. Can she keep her identity and her marriage intact amid the wild beauty and the lingering colonial sins of this mysterious world that both captivates and destroys foreigners? A mesmerizing, powerful tale of travel and self-discovery that evokes Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Red Island House showcases an extraordinary literary voice and gorgeously depicts a lush and unknown world.

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
  • Swimming Back to Trout River: A Novel
    Swimming Back to Trout River: A Novel
    Swimming Back to Trout River: A Novel

    Ebook

    Swimming Back to Trout River: A Novel

    byLinda Rui Feng

    SHORTLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE A lyrical novel set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution that follows a father’s quest to reunite his family before his precocious daughter’s momentous birthday, which Garth Greenwell calls “one of the most beautiful debuts I’ve read in years.” “A beautifully written, poignant exploration of family, art, culture, immigration, and most of all, love.” —Jean Kwok, author of Searching for Sylvie Lee and Girl in Translation How many times in life can we start over without losing ourselves? In the summer of 1986, in a small Chinese village, ten-year-old Junie receives a momentous letter from her parents, who had left for America years ago: her father promises to return home and collect her by her twelfth birthday. But Junie’s growing determination to stay put in the idyllic countryside with her beloved grandparents threatens to derail her family’s shared future. What Junie doesn’t know is that her parents, Momo and Cassia, are newly estranged from one another in their adopted country, each holding close private tragedies and histories from the tumultuous years of their youth during China’s Cultural Revolution. While Momo grapples anew with his deferred musical ambitions and dreams for Junie’s future in America, Cassia finally begins to wrestle with a shocking act of brutality from years ago. In order for Momo to fulfill his promise, he must make one last desperate attempt to reunite all three members of the family before Junie’s birthday—even if it means bringing painful family secrets to light. Swimming Back to Trout River weaves together the stories of Junie, Momo, Cassia, and Dawn—a talented violinist from Momo’s past—while depicting their heartbreak and resilience, tenderly revealing the hope, compromises, and abiding ingenuity that make up the lives of immigrants. Feng’s debut is “filled with tragedy yet touched with life-affirming passion” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), and “Feng weaves a plot both surprising and inevitable, with not a word to spare” (Booklist, starred review).

    Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5

The ZORA Canon

Some of the greatest books written by Black women, according to ZORA on Medium.

Featured Reading Lists

Curated collections from experts, influencers & our editors.

Explore more in Identity & Culture Fiction